OTW Extra Email Archive - August 2017
We go again in Cincinnati - at 18/1 and 33/1...
Thursday 17th August 2017
In your Ones to Watch email today:
It’s all going on...
This is a fascinating time to be following the tennis. It’s all going on. Big names are dropping like flies. Youngsters are breaking through. And a few old hands are still going strong.
Off the top of my head – we have Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all out for the rest of the season. That’s three multiple Grand Slam winners right there.
Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has also pulled out of every event for the remainder of 2017.
A star name, Maria Sharapova, has been handed a Wild Card for the US Open and will – fitness permitting – go off as one of the favourites in New York in just 10 days from now. But another Grand Slam champion, Victoria Azarenka, may miss the US Open due to ‘personal reasons.’
The now 36-years-old Roger Federer is favourite for New York but misses the Cincinnati Masters this week with a back injury. Andy Murray is also currently out injured. The list goes on.
So far this season we’ve seen a real mix of old and new players featuring in the big finals...
Roger Federer has won two of the three Men’s Grand Slam events so far (Australian Open and Wimbledon) – and didn’t play in the other (chose to sit out the French Open).
And 37-year-old Venus Williams has been runner-up in two of the three Women’s Grand Slams (Australian Open and Wimbledon).
While on the ‘young guns’ front...
We’ve seen a teenager win the Women’s French Open (one of our Ones to Watch in 2017, Jelena Ostapenko – at 100/1), and a new name on the Wimbledon trophy with 23-year-old Garbine Muguruza winning at SW19 last month.
Not to mention the prestigious ‘Masters’ level tournaments, where two other players on our Ones to Watch in 2017 list have had great success...
Zverev and Svitolina win in Canada...
Last week Alexander Zverev won the Men’s ‘Canadian Masters’ title at the ATP Montreal event, at odds of 12/1 – with Elina Svitolina lifting the Women’s WTA Toronto trophy at 14/1.
Those two have been prolific in the big Masters events this season. Both also won in Rome (Zverev at 25/1, Svitolina at 14/1). And Svitolina also collected the silverware in Dubai, at 10/1.
Zverev is just 20 years of age and Svitolina is 22. We can expect to see those two in many more big finals. The next step would be to make the breakthrough at Grand Slam level. They are certainly on the radar for the upcoming US Open.
Your US Open report – coming soon...
A final point on the tennis tour mayhem at the moment: we’re also seeing plenty of finalists at massive prices...
Masters level events have seen a 100/1 winner and a 200/1 runner-up...
The Grand Slams have featured a 100/1 winner and a 100/1 runner-up...
And on the weekly ATP and WTA Tours this season, we’ve seen 80/1, 100/1 and 250/1 tournament wins – along with a handful of 100/1 finalists and even a 300/1 runner-up.
My message remains the same, and more so than ever:
We should continue to expect ‘surprises’ and continue to go after ‘outsiders’ at attractive Each Way prices.
That’s certainly what I’ll be doing in your free US Open 2017 – Ones to Watch report next week – lookout for your email with your exclusive report on Wednesday, 23rd August.
We go again in Cincinnati...
Last week we went for Johanna Konta (14/1) and Madison Keys (33/1) in Toronto.
It’s fair to say things didn’t go our way. Konta lost in the 1st Round, despite having two Match Points to beat Ekaterina Makarova.
While Keys was entered into the official tournament draw – but then withdrew, citing an injury (I have the Keys pick down as a loser; depending on the bookie you used, you might have been lucky and got your stake back as a void bet).
Konta and Keys go again in the WTA Cincinnati tournament this week and both have looked in good shape in Ohio so far. However this time the prices are not in our favour, with Konta and Keys both around the 7/1 (8.00) mark at the time of writing. They may well go on to make it through to the final this week, but the odds are nothing like the respective 14/1 and 33/1 that were available in Toronto.
I prefer the look of Sloane Stephens at 18/1...
Ones to Watch this week – at 18/1 and 33/1...
The 24-year-old American Sloane Stephens is yet to make good on her early promise, but injuries have played a part – and right now she’s playing well and looks fit and focused.
Stephens reached the semi finals in Toronto last week, losing to another in-form player Caroline Wozniacki. Incidentally, the Dane is in action again this week (11/1), but Wozniacki has now lost 6 out of 6 finals this season so the odds don’t make the Each Way ‘place’ part of a bet on her that appealing this time out.
Stephens started off in Cincinnati with a good 2-0 win over Lucie Safarova, and made the most of a weakened opponent when brushing aside Petra Kvitova last night, also 2-0, in very hot conditions.
That was the second time in seven days that Stephens has beaten Kvitova, and she took out another Grand Slam winner in Toronto too, with a 2-0 win over reigning US Open champ Angelique Kerber last week.
Next up for Stephens is Ekaterina Makarova (22/1), who came very close to retiring in her epic 2-1 win over Kerber yesterday.
I watched both the Stephens-Kvitova and Makarova-Kerber matches late last night and Stephens looked by far the fresher of the two. Stephens also hold a 2-0 head-to-head record over Makarova although both meetings were on clay not their preferred hard court, and the last one was back in 2014. With recent matches in mind, the American is my pick to come through that match.
After that, potential opponents would be Elina Svitolina (7/1) or Julia Goerges (33/1). Svitolina won that Toronto event last week so back-to-back title runs would be a big ask, especially with the US Open just around the corner. Stephens won their only previous hard court meeting. Goerges has played a lot of tennis recently and in the past her body and/ or mental toughness has let her down. Stephens is 3-0 v the German on hard courts.
Daring to look ahead to the latter stages of the tournament, the likes of Konta (7/1), Cibulkova (33/1), Sevastova (40/1) and Halep (6/1) might have punched themselves out by the semi final stage – there could be some tough matches among that lot.
Let’s follow one of the form players at a nice double-figure price – Sloane Stephens at 18/1 (19.00) Each Way.
In the Men’s ATP Cincinnati draw, Rafael Nadal is the 5/4 (2.25) favourite and in the top half. In the bottom half, Juan-Martin Del Potro is next in line in the betting at 7/1 (8.00). I like Del Potro but I don’t like the price. As with Konta and Keys, we can look to back them at bigger prices another day.
Also in the bottom half are John Isner (9/1), and Grigor Dimitrov (9/1) who plays Del Potro this afternoon (play starts in Cincinnati at 4pm, UK time).
But the one who stands out at a much bigger price is the 21-year-old Karen Khachanov at an eye-catching 33/1 (34.00) Each Way...
The Russian youngster is another player on our pre-season Ones to Watch in 2017 list. He’s yet to add to his first ATP trophy last season, but hard courts look set to be Khachanov’s best surface and there is a history of powerful hitters winning here in Cincinnati – the likes of Federer, Marin Cilic and Andy Roddick all feature on the roll-call.
This looks a good time to follow one of our youngsters at a big price in one of the weekly tournaments. Khachanov is well capable of springing a surprise and taking out Del Potro or Dimitrov in the next round (neither of them has played him before). And his price is way bigger than the other contenders in the bottom half of the draw.
Ones to Watch this week:
Outright Winner – Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places
I’ll be back next week, with the start of our build-up to the US Open which begins a week on Monday. Exciting times...
Enjoy the tennis,